In Search of Some Good, Easy-to-Make Recipes

Whole wheat linguini with
Whole wheat linguini with green beans, ricotta and lemon.

The long weekend has prompted me to open some of the many cookbooks I’ve been given throughout the years. I gravitated toward Giada de Laurentiis’ cookbook because I learned a lot about the stories behind the recipes when
interviewing her this summer for a Dallas Morning News story. I bought ingredients for Giada’s fresh tomato and goat cheese with herb oil and her whole wheat linguine with green beans, ricotta and lemon. Friday night I tried out the linguine, which actually turned out pretty good.

It can be tough to motivate yourself to cook when you don’t have roommates. I often find that it’s easier to just heat up a veggie burger or throw together a salad. But cooking, I’m slowly learning, can be relaxing after a long day at work, and it doesn’t necessarily have to take a lot of time. The linguine took me about 30 minutes to make.

Here is the linguine recipe, courtesy of “Giada’s Kitchen, New Italian Favorites.”

1 pound whole-wheat linguine
½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ pound French green beans (haricots verts), trimmed and halved lengthwise.
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Zest of lemon

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the hot pasta to a large heat-proof bowl and add the ricotta. Toss to combine.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the green beans, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté for four minutes. Add the reserved pasta cooking liquid and continue cooking until the beans are tender, about four more minutes. Add the ricotta-coated pasta to the pan with the green beans and toss to combine. Add the tomatoes and toss gently. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the lemon zest. Serve.

I’m in search of some other recipes. What are some of your favorites?

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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